Miriam Mason-Sesay passionately believes in the power of education to destroy poverty. Arriving in Sierra Leone in 2000 at the end of a brutal civil war, Miriam began working to improve a severely broken education system. Her first “school” was the back veranda of a rented house, where she began teaching 20 children.
Today the organization she co-founded, EducAid Sierra Leone, has expanded to nine schools serving 3,000 students. Most of these students are underprivileged and war-affected young people.
World of Children is thrilled to honor Miriam’s work with our first ever World of Children Education Award.
In addition to running nine EducAid schools, the organization also runs outreach programs to support improvements in partner schools. They use these programs to spread EducAid’s high standards of training and strong ethical code beyond their own schools. These training programs focus on ensuring accurate subject content, encouraging independent learning, active teaching methodologies, positive behavior management, values-led teaching, and – perhaps most radically – girl-friendly strategies.
Ensuring that women genuinely participate in education is one of the founding pillars of EducAid. Traditionally in Sierra Leone educating girls has been less valued than educating boys. These values have been internalized by the girls themselves and many have given up on themselves. To combat this, EducAid has started a number of projects to help girls reach their full educational potential. The organization encourages girls and women with any level of education to return to school and provides special classes for this purpose through their “Women’s Project”. More than 600 girls have re-joined mainstream schooling through the project. The organization has also launched a girls’ Safe House to provide a safe, happy environment for primary school age girls.
The Threat of Ebola
Miriam has faced many struggles through the years of her work with EducAid but perhaps no struggle was greater than the 2014 Ebola outbreak. Ebola not only threatened to take thousands of lives but it threatened to undo all of Miriam’s hard work to reform the educational system. Putting her own life on the line, Miriam stayed in Sierra Leone and continued educating children, even creating a Remote Learning Program for children whose schools were closed.
To date –
For press inquiries:
World of Children
» Read a story about Abu Bakarr Kargbo, student at EducAid